Spiced Tofu with Wilted Spinach and Yogurt

I picked up Meatless during our move with some credits I had from the used book store but didn't have a chance to cook from it until now.  I  was excited for it since it seemed to be really flavorful recipes and things that looked just yummy.  And it actually was good - so I have a new recipe to share!  I have made some serious dud recipes lately - so getting a winner, finally, was a good feeling. So on to the recipe, which is Spiced Tofu with Wilted Spinach and Yogurt, which serves 4.  It is a delicious vegetarian dish inspired by saag paneer.  You could easily make it vegan if you have a good vegan plain yogurt to sub in as that is the only ingredient that makes it vegetarian instead of vegan.

Ingredients

  • oil
  • 12 oz firm tofu drained and pressed
  • 1 onion diced
  • minced garlic
  • fresh ginger grated
  • ground cumin
  • ground mustard
  • ground coriander
  • crush red pepper flakes
  • 1.5 lbs fresh spinach stemmed and chopped
  • 1 cup plan yogurt
  • brown rice

Okay before I begin the directions...let me tell you the budget facts.  It's still Operation Pantry Clean out month.  I had everything for this dish already at home except for the spinach and yogurt, so this dish was VERY easy on this week's food budget, which is one reason I picked it out.

Okay so step one is to press the tofu.  I didn't take any pictures because I forgot, but basically, just rinse it off, put it on paper towel on a plate, put more paper towel on top with another plate, put 4 cans of beans on top and let it sit for 20-30 minutes.

While it is sitting, grab your spinach and start de-stemming and cutting.  I took the mega lazy way out - hello kitchen shears.

Once you are done with that, check your tofu time.  Once it's done (or you are just too hungry to wait anymore) put a skillet on the stove to heat with a tbsp of oil.  While that is heating, cut your tofu into 1 inch cubes.  I never know what that means...I can't cut cubes very well.  But I ended up with oddly shaped boxes of tofu that looked good enough for me.  Then throw them in the oil

Cook them until they look like golden brown nuggets of tofu, about 7 minutes, turning as necessary.  They are about half way done in the picture below.

Once they are all golden brown and pretty, put them on a plate and salt.

Next, heat a tablespoon of oil in a pot.  Throw in your onion and garlic (approx 3 cloves minced, but have fun) and cook until golden brown.  The book says tender, but we all know that slightly burned onions have more flavor so go for it.  Then add the ginger (approx 1 tsp...but I definitely put in more) and the other spices (aprox 1/2 teaspoon each).  I have approx because I didn't measure anything.  I definitely put in more coriander and mustard and less cumin because my husband doesn't like cumin much.  Have fun and play with the spices here!  You won't mess this up, promise.  Stir the spices for about 1 minute.

Next, add the spinach and cook by stirring until wilted.  I just added a little and stirred until wilted, then added more until all the spinach was in the pot.  Once it's all in the pot and wilted, remove from the heat and add the yogurt.  Another secret, I didn't use a cup.  I just used that whole little container, which was about 3/4 cup.  I didn't want to buy a $4 container of yogurt with 4 cups that would end up being wasted when that little $0.86 was close enough for me.

Add a little more salt and the tofu and stir.  Serve over brown rice.

I really really LOVED this recipe!  It was flavorful and the tofu was actually really good.  I have never actually cooked tofu before, so this was a good intro to tofu recipe.  I would definitely make it again.  It's also fairly inexpensive if you have a well stocked pantry, which is a plus.  Pick up some tofu, spinach, and yogurt and you have dinner.  Let me know if you make it!